Canadian institutional investors are more likely (58 per cent) than their global peers (50 per cent) to view making a positive impact on society and the planet as the main reason to focus on sustainable investment outcomes, according to a new survey by Schroders.

The survey, which polled 770 institutional investors around the globe, found the vast majority (88 per cent) of Canadian investors said they use environmental, social and governance integration to invest sustainably, compared to an average of 75 per cent across global respondents

When considering the various sustainable investment opportunities, 62 per cent of Canadian respondents indicated they’d like to invest in funds or solutions focussed primarily on delivering financial returns while broadly integrating ESG factors. This was slightly higher than the global average (58 per cent).

Read: Sustainability of increasing concern to asset managers: reports

About two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadian respondents noted investing sustainably is somewhat or very challenging, aligning exactly with their U.S. peers. The most common challenges included lack of consistency in disclosures and reporting frameworks (65 per cent), lack of transparency and data (56 per cent) and concerns related to greenwashing (52 per cent).

Despite these concerns, Canadian institutional investors are becoming more reliant on third-party ESG ratings. The survey found 70 per cent of Canadian respondents used them in 2022 compared to 64 per cent in 2021.

Read: CIFSC releases responsible investment framework for Canadian funds